Burnley boss Howe wants to sign off for international break in style

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe
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BURNLEY have signed off for each international break with a win so far this season, and boss Eddie Howe is eager for a repeat.

The Clarets won at Derby and Millwall ahead of the last two round of international games, and victory at Bristol City tomorrow would be the perfect tonic after the midweek setback at home to Leicester City.

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And after seven games in 21 days, Howe wants one more big push before a chance to recharge batteries.

He said: “We’ve signed off well previously with good results, and it’s made a difference going into that break, so hopefully we can do the same again.

“It will be a difficult game.

“People will look at Bristol City’s league position, but I think that’s slightly false. They have a new manage there and we go on the back of two good results for them, so we know it won’t be easy.

“It hasn’t been ideal for us with the cup games stuck in the middle of the league fixtures, and with a small squad it’s been difficult.

“We haven’t done much training in between the games because we haven’t been able to.

“We’re just asking the players now for one big effort before they get a break.”

Howe expected this period to be a strain on resources, but injuries and suspensions have been kind to his stretched squad, saying: “Touch wood the lads in the main have come through really well.

“We’ve had to look after them between the games, but I think the lads physically have given really good performances.

“Even Tuesday, looking at the physical statistics after the game, the lads performed really well.

“I think on that side of it we’re as fit as any team in the league, and I’m really pleased with how the lads look from a physical point of view.

“So we’ll be looking to bounce back after a disappointing result.

“I thought for 30 minutes in the first half, we played well against a very good side.

“I thought we passed and moved the ball really well, switched from side to side and we had a couple of chances.

“Again it could have been very different. That’s the frustrating thing, because everyone will look at the result, but for periods in the game we did well.”

While the result against Leicester was a blow, to add to his 17-goal strikeforce – with Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez linking well so far this term – Ross Wallace netted his fifth goal of the season, after scoring in his third successive league game.

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No Burnley player has achieved that feat since Martin Paterson three years ago – and no one has scored in four on the spin since Garreth O’Connor six years ago.

Howe said: “With Ross. I think we have a player with great ability and a fantastic left foot.

“Again he’s a player who can play in a number of positions, which is great to have.

“I think the only thing missing from Ross’ game was goals. He’s been behind a lot of our goals this year in terms of assists, but I’m really pleased he’s actually getting himself on the scoresheet, because he’s deserved it.

“I think he’s been one of our most consistent performers, and I think there’s still a lot more to come from him.

“I’m delighted with him and his attitude and how hard he’s worked this year. He’s a big part of our attacking play.

“A lot goes through Ross from whatever position he plays in. And hopefully there’s more to come.”

Brian Easton is “touch and go” for tomorrow, with Michael Duff set for duty on the bench again, ahead of schedule after his surprise inclusion on Tuesday.

Howe said: “It was through necessity rather than choice, we didn’t really want to involve Duffo before we had to, but with Easty going down and not having any other defensive cover, we had to push Duffo back.

“But he’s fine. He’s experienced enough to know when he can and can’t play, but he wanted to be involved.

“It’s great to have him back. He’s not match fit yet, that’s going to take time, but we’re really pleased to have him back within the ranks.”

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